Our 16 book anthology, Summer of Suspense is now available. So today I thought I’d share a little about the setting–Shipshewana Hot Spots.
No, I’m not talking about places you can find Wi-Fi in Shipshewana, Indiana. I’m talking about fun places to see. I recently visited the area, and I wanted to share some pictures and thoughts.
- Shipshewana is a small town – see the flowers above? Not quite 700 residents (during market days that swells to as much as 30,000).
- We stayed at the Bluegate, which is convenient, close, and lovely. There are a lot of places to stay in the area.
- Keep your eyes open for phone shacks.
- Yoder’s Department store is a fun place to visit.
- Lolly’s Fabrics (in the Davis Mercantile) is also a favorite of mine.
- You can have dinner in an Amish home.
- The Pumpkinvine Trail is lovely. You can walk all the way to Middlebury, or you can walk a little and turn back.
- Keep an eye out for Amish schools. You’ll know them by the playgrounds.
- Howie’s ice cream is a real treat, and you’ll probably see some Amish families there.
- Watch for produce signs. This one simply had a jar where you left your money, and the blueberries were delicious.
- Essenhaus in Middlebury is also a fun stop.
I love visiting the areas I write about. Amish communities offer a special kind of peace and quiet–it really is like stepping back in time. If you have any questions about Shipshe, let me know. I’ll be happy to try and answer them. And remember, you can download your copy of Summer of Suspense now. My contribution to this collection is Fading Into the Night, an Amish suspense set in Shipshewana. The price for the entire collection will remain 99c until Sunday, August 11th, at which point it goes up to regular price. At this point it’s only offered in ebook format, but I hope to release mine with 3 other stories–in print and ebook–next spring.
Announcements for this week
- I have new items in my VC Boutique Store. Check it out here.
- All 5 of my Wisconsin amish stories are for sale in one bundle for $3.99. That’s 2 novellas and 3 full novels for $3.99.
- Dead Wrong is now at my editor’s. This new Amish cozy mystery series will release in September. I’ll provide buy links soon.
- The Amish Christmas Matchmaker will be in stores the end of September. If you are a blogger/reviewer it is now available on Netgalley.
Texas is a big state. We have mountains, desert, forests, hill country, plains, and beaches! Hubby and I recently spent a few days at the Texas coast with his family. Yes, it was hot! But it was a nice time of relaxing and recharging. I thought I’d share a few facts with you about Texas beaches.
- Padre Island is the world’s largest barrier island–more than 200 square miles.
- There are several lighthouses to visit including Port Isabel and Lydia Ann. You can see the entire list here.
- Sea turtle rescue is a big thing on Padre Island.
- The Texas State Aquarium is right across the bay in Corpus Christi.
- You can also visit the USS Lexington which is now a floating museum.
- Moody Gardens are located in Galveston, which is only 60 miles south of Houston.
- Both Galveston and Port Aransas have been hit by hurricanes in recent years. Hurricane Harvey hit Port A in 2017 and Hurricane Ike hit Galveston in 2008. Galveston was also the site of the deadliest hurricane in US history which made landfall in 1900 and killed between 6,000 and 12,000 people.
So while you might not want to visit the Texas coast during hurricane season, it is a nice spot the rest of the year. I think you’ll find the people friendly, the food delicious, and the views spectacular. What about you? What’s your favorite spot to visit in your state? Leave a comment below, and we’ll pull one winner to receive an autographed book from yours truly. Last week’s winner was Judy S. (Judy, you should have received an email from me today.)
Announcements for this week
- Paperback copies of Sarah’s Orphans and Joshua’s Mission are available in my online store for only $6 (which includes an autograph and free shipping). This special is good through 7-24.
- The anthology I’m participating in, Summer of Suspense, is releasing in 3 weeks. You can preorder at BN and Apple and Amazon. Pre-order price is 99c for 16 awesome inspirational romantic suspense novellas. These are all original stories.
- I’ll be in Shipshewana in August and signing books at the Empress Room in the Blue Gate Inn on Friday, August 2 from 12:30-4:30. Some fantastic authors of Amish fiction are going to be joining me, so if you’re in the area please do stop by!
Amish home, Middlebury, IN
Quilt Garden, Shipshe, IN
Amish home, memory garden
Amish home, produce garden
Quilt Garden, Shipshe, IN
Amish home, produce garden
Today I thought we’d talk about Amish gardens. Raise your hand if you’ve seen one.
I live in Texas, so I’m well acquainted with gardens. My husband’s Uncle Joe had a very large vegetable garden even after he’d gone blind. Uncle Joe was Continue reading
Howdy folks. Today I thought I’d share a deer video with you. If you read the bio on the back of my Continue reading
There’s nothing wrong with shopping, of course. In fact, if you have the urge, feel free to purchase my new release, A Perfect Amish Match. It’s available in ebook and print. (You can find it at most Walmart stores as well as online retailers).
Some of you might remember that I decided to try a shopping ban for 2019, so I thought I’d update you on how it’s going. So far, so good. Of course I still purchase consumables (food, paper goods, etc.). For me, I found that my biggest tempations were books (surprise), fabric for quilting, yarn for knitting, and clothes! Those are my big 4. Apparently today is day 104, and to tell you the truth I think Continue reading
Full Harlequin Display
My New Release
Anyone else remember bookstores? I’ll bet you do. When I was a child, it was one of my favorite places to go (second to the library), and when I was an adult it was my favorite date place. Yup. Lots of people went on dates at bookstores. Right?
As we all know, there are fewer bookstores every day. I try to tell myself that it’s the same thing as Continue reading
Do you read the book dedication in the front of books?
I do. In fact, I read all of the front matter. It’s a funny thing. If you’re reading on an e-reader, sometimes they start on page 1 of chapter 1. I always want to shout “Slow down, Nelly.” I have to tell the e-reader to go to the cover, and let me read all of the front stuff. Of course if it’s a print book, I can just flip to the front!
For me, it’s a special thing to be able to dedicate a book to someone. After all, it takes a village to Continue reading
As I writer, I keep a pretty detailed calendar. Some of things I need to keep an eye on are:
- Project due dates
- Book release dates
- Book signings and book talks
- Family vacations (that one is super important)
I try to be realistic about my schedule. After all, we each only get 24 hours a day and some of that really does need to be spent sleeping. I’m a real believer in calendars. “Stick to the calendar,” I say as I stumble toward my desk with a cup of coffee. But one fun thing about being a writer is Continue reading
It’s been fun to share with you some of the things I’ve learned from the Amish in my many trips to visit their communities. Today I thought I’d share something the Amish are very well known for–their quilting.
VC with Kris Stutzman, Lolly’s Fabrics
Amish Quilts, Lolly’s Fabrics
Amish Quilt, Lolly’s Fabrics
- The Amish don’t purposely put an error in every quilt. They’ve told me there are always errors in quilts. It would be prideful to try and make something perfect.
- The Amish will quilt in red, but they don’t display red quilts in their homes. There’s nothing wrong with the color red. It’s simply too bold for their tastes.
- The Amish will use calico or patterned fabrics. There was a time when Amish only quilted with solid fabrics, and some stricter communities may still abide by that rule. Everyone I’ve spoken with says that they are free to use whatever fabric they like.
- Amish women often quilt with salvage fabrics to lower the cost.
- Amish women do still hand piece and hand quilt. However, some women also use treadle machines, and others will hand-piece the tops and then have them quilted by a machine. If you buy a quilt in an Amish home, it’s probably hand pieced and hand quilted.
Amish schoolhouse, Middlebury, IN
It has been my pleasure to visit with Amish families in a variety of settings. Needless to say it’s been an eye-opening experience. In many ways their lives are the same as ours. But in other, more fundamental ways their lives are remarkably different. Last week I shared that one of the first things I learned from the Amish was focus. Another thing I’ve learned is to slow down.
This picture is a perfect example of that. It was taken outside an Amish schoolhouse in Continue reading